Every organization needs a business plan. A business plan that is aggressive, fluid, and most importantly, complete. When an association is formed, typically a business plan is put in place. But what often happens in the months and years to come, the business plan gets pushed to the side as the day-to-day duties begin to take priority. Don’t forget that plan! It was essential when you created it, and should be referred to, and updated, at least quarterly. Not sure what composes a business plan? Here is a loose outline to get you started.
Executive Summary - The executive summary is the nuts and bolts of your plan. In this section you should highlight your association’s mission statement, first and foremost. Also include a description of the services you provide as well as the organizational structure of, and funding source(s) for, your association.
The next sections will allow you to further outline each point within your executive summary.
Services - Here, you should layout the services your association provides and what needs the services meet. You also can include the state of your industry in this section.
Market or Needs Analysis - Answer the questions, who are your members, and, where are they located. Also include your member numbers and projected numbers and how they compare within your industry.
Financials - Include where your funding is sourced. Outline your annual costs and revenues and don’t forget your future projections.
Strategy - Most likely, this will be your largest section. How will your association get where it wants to go? What will be your focus? Your marketing and PR plan should be found in this section, and be sure not to gloss it over.
Management Summary - Layout your management structure in this section. Include all positions and job duties for each.
Business plan templates can be found around the internet; we used this article from MAX and templates can be found here.
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